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Make] Projects 

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build, hack, tweak, share, discover,- 

T-Shirt Tote 

Written By: BurdaStyle 



French curve (1) 

• T-shirts (1) 

Ruler (1) 

Use 2 if you plan to make the baa 

Scissors (1) 


• SergerM) 

• Chalk (1) 

Sewing machine (1) 


We all have piles of old T-shirts lying around, the ones we just can't seem to part with. But 
don't call Goodwill just yet. We'll show you how to turn those dust collectors into something 
useful; an everyday purse or carrying bag. 

We got the idea for this bag while we were working on our own reusable grocery bag pattern, 
the Charlie bag. Our intern Katie Leaver took the reins and came up with this jewel. 

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Step 1 — Flip. 

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• Take one of your old T-shirts, flip it 
inside out, and lay it flat across the 

Step 2 — Mark and measure. 

• With your ruler and a piece of chalk, draw a straight line from the bottom of one armhole to 
the other. 

• Measure the length of that line and mark the center. 

• Now make 3 chalk marks, 1/2" below the center and at both ends 1/2" below each armhole. 

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Step 3 — Draw the curves. 

• Take your French curve template and draw a curved line from the mark 1/2" below center 
to the right edge of the collar at the shoulder seam. This line should look like a J. 

• Turn over your French curve, and repeat on the left side of the collar, making a reverse J. 

• Draw another J curve that connects the top of the left shoulder to the bottom of the 
armhole at the 1/2" mark. Repeat on the right shoulder with a reverse J. 

Step 4 — Cut. 

• With your scissors, cut all 4 of 
these lines through both sides of 
the fabric. 

• If you want to make a reversible 
bag, as we did, use this piece as a 
template for cutting out a second 
bag, and repeat that step for this 
second piece as well. 

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Step 5 — Remove the seams. 

• Cut across the bottom of the shirt, 
taking off the original hem, and 
then cut across the shoulder 
seams separating the front from 
the back. 

• Make sure to remove the original 
serged seam at the shoulders. 

Step 6 — Sew. 

• Take the 2 front straps and bring them together, creating a single rounded shape, and pin. 

• With your sewing machine, sew straight across the straps with a 1/2" seam allowance. 

• Press the seam allowance to one side, and sew down the seam allowance to the strap. 
This is called a flat-felled seam, and it's very durable. 

• Repeat with the backside straps. 

• Sew across the bottom of the shirt with a 1/2" seam allowance, creating the base for the 

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Step 7 — Finish and embellish. 

• Now serge the edges. If you don't 
have a serger, you can always use 
a zigzag stitch or a decorative 
stitch to add interest. 

• To make a reversible bag, put the 
bag's wrong sides together, making 
sure to match seams and curves, 
and serge them together at all the 
handle edges. This will hide all the 
unfinished seams and give your 
bag strength when holding all your 

• Now have fun decorating and 
embellishing. We created ruffles 
with the hems we cut off, by 
gathering each strip with a basting 
stitch down the center. We hand- 
stitched these to the front of the 
bag, making sure to catch only 1 
side of the fabric, switching from 
color to color. 

This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 09 , pages 78-80. 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 0-31 1 2:46:42 PM. 

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